Some Sacramento Residents Leery Of Plan To Store Natural Gas Under Homes

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There’s a plan to store natural gas underground below hundreds of people’s homes in south Sacramento, and it’s pitting neighbor against neighbor.

The idea is to drill a hole and store gas 3,800 feet under the earth. That’s about three-quarters of a mile.

Residents came out on the street in protest Monday, united in their fight to keep gas from being stored under their neighborhood.

“Because we don’t want gas under our house,” resident Raymond Espinoza said. “There’s no guarantee the gas will not leak and reach our home.”

But not everyone is against the idea.

“This is natural gas in its natural environment,” Helen Broadnex said. “All we’re doing it is tapping into it.”

Helen doesn’t work for the gas company pushing the project, but she is, in a sense, a paid spokesperson. Sacramento Natural Gas is paying her for the rights to store gas under her home.

The area impacted is west of Power Inn from Elder Creek south to Florin Road.

Seventy-five percent of the 717 neighbors impacted signed on to get at least $500 a year from the gas company.

“But during difficult times everyone will take $500,” a protester said.

The holdouts fear the tragic pictures from San Bruno and a house explosion in Rancho Cordova could be repeated in their neighborhood if the project goes through.

“The Rancho Cordova explosion was 2008. San Bruno was 2010. Two years later we’re going to be the next one?” Espinoza asked.

The Public Utilities Commission has to approve it and is still hearing from both sides.

“And safety will weigh very heavily in our decision,” Catherine Sandoval said.

That decision could come as early as this week.

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